Man who shaped much of Exeter’s landscape set to gain Freedom of City

A man who has played a major part in Exeter’s growth and success in recent years looks set to be given the Freedom of the City.

Philip Bostock, former Chief Executive of Exeter City Council, has been nominated for the award. The nomination will go before Full Council on 19 April.

If approved by councillors, Philip will be awarded the Freedom of the City at a ceremony at Exeter’s historic Guildhall, in the near future.

The nomination states: “Philip has dedicated much of his life to various civic duties. He is the model custodian of everything great about Exeter and through the years shaped much of the city landscape, from Councils to education to preservation.”

Philip’s 40-year career in local government began in Cheshire, and led to a range of senior planning, economic development and environmental roles in the north west of England. He was Chief Executive of Exeter City Council from 1997 until his retirement in July 2013.

The nomination continues: “During those 16 years, Exeter experienced unparalleled growth, major city centre redevelopment, economic dynamism and a growing international reputation. He was instrumental in the setting up of the South West Regional Assembly in 1997, acting as its inaugural Secretary. He was appointed a member of the Government’s ‘Lifting the Burdens’ Task Force in 2006 and was a longstanding representative for south west district councils within the Local Government Association.”

In addition, Philip has served for many years on the Professional Executive Committee of the Exeter PCT, and was the Chair of Governors of Exeter College during its main period of growth and success. He is now a trustee and Vice Chair of the Ted Wragg Trust.

Philip was awarded an OBE for services to Local Government in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and was made a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Devon in 2013.

“We are proud to call Philip one of Exeter’s greatest ambassadors, with the City’s best interests running right through him!” adds the nomination.

In response to this nomination, Philip said: “Over the last 25 years I have devoted a large part of my life and energies to representing, supporting and developing the City of Exeter – for 16 years as Chief Executive of the City Council, then as Chair of the Exeter College Board and now as Vice-Chair of the Exeter based Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust.

“I hope I have contributed in some way to the undoubted successes of all of these organisations, and ultimately to the success of the great city with which I am proud to be associated. Being honoured as a Freeman of the City of Exeter, in recognition of this service, means a huge amount to me and it will always be the award that I will prize above all others.”

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